Photo by Dawn at My Home Sweet Home
One thing I’ve figured out in the process of aging (gracefully, of course), is how much of myself I cover up when it comes to, well, getting dressed—especially for the beach. I look at pictures of ladies in swimsuits from the 1920’s and 30’s and think, “Now those women had it made.” Fashion gurus weren’t pushing two-piece, string laden contraptions. For the most part, suits were modest and in one piece— with attached skirts! These days it’s practically an act of courage for a woman to shop for a swimsuit.
Struggling vainly to figure out how to hide this part or that, flatter this area, slim that one, make my waist look smaller and my legs seem longer, I stop and wonder….who is responsible for this transition into obsession over our appearance? I’m sure there’s plenty of blame to go around and too many forces working against me to start a revolution at this point.
So I’ll encourage you with something else I’ve figured out through the years. While striving to cover more of myself physically, I’m discovering it’s best to bare all of myself spiritually. No matter how hard I try to hide the excess fat I’m carrying in the area of pride (does it all have be exposed?), or the unflattering bit of ‘control’ I try to conceal (which translates into lack of trust), or the flabby layer of impatience that keeps bulging out (into words I shouldn’t say and things I shouldn’t do)—every single one of them keep coming to the forefront, hidden to no one, including God.
It takes courage to be transparent, even with God. To stand squarely in front of the spiritual mirror and look at the things that need to be changed. But the best part of being out of shape spiritually is the workout plan God offers us. Let Me do all the work—all you need to do is bare all and surrender all. What a glorious deal.
I might be falling out of shape physically, but it takes a simple prayer of humility to melt away the spiritual cellulite: “God, today I’m baring all of my weaknesses and shortcomings to You, trusting You to make every inch of the real me more beautiful.” Amen to that.Leave a Comment
Beth @ A Quest for Relevance says
Well Bonnie, you certainly have a way with words – great post!
what a glorious reminder that we can bare all to our God & Savior! feels good…
I am a farther along into middle age than you Bonnie and just loved this post. The analogy is beautiful.
I have actually reached the point where I am relaxing into this aging “thing” because there really is nothing I can do to turn back the years (and I wouldn’t want to – this is a lovely season of life) – but the Father is always up to something on the inside where, after all, it really matters.
Laryssa @ Heaven In The Home says
You said, “It takes courage to be transparent, even with God.” That is so true. Thanks for this post.
Mary @ Passionate Perseverance says
I agree with Linda. Barbara your analogy was wonderful. With age comes a dependance on God that I didn’t have in my youth. I recognize the fragility of life and the incredible miracles that surround us each day. I strive to be authentic in my prayer life so that God may use me as He desires, not the other way around.
Oh Bonnie, you hit home…… First of all, YES! I try to cover and hide as much as possible in that bathing suit (smile). I also try to hide some very big parts of my spirit and soul… the inside me..from God-It’s not really hidden from him- and from my closest friends. Thank you for your words today.
Bonnie, this is so right. Thank you for sharing this with us.
Joanne Sher says
YES – what an ideal analogy. I needed to hear this. We want to hide our spiritual faults SO much – but we will never grow more like Him unless we admit where our growth needs to be.
Wow! I really was touched by your comment that “But the best part of being out of shape spiritually is the workout plan God offers us. Let Me do all the work—all you need to do is bare all and surrender all. What a glorious deal. ” This really touched me. Surrendering is so tough but comes with such blessed rewards. Thanks for the inspiration.
Southern Gal says
I can relate to this article so much. Thank you for sharing with us. Oh, and I graduated from high school a year early in order to marry my high school sweetheart. We will be married 29 years in October, so I think we must be close to the same age. Glad to meet you.
Thanks– I just loved this, and love this site- looking forward to more opportunities for encouragement.
For now, lol, I’m just not admitting I ‘need’ this one! lol- Thanks, really- Laura
Beautifully said. Thank you.
I’m only 34, but I hate shopping for a bathing suit. I only wear one once a year, and my bottoms are always men’s swim trunks. Short of wearing a wet suit, they’re the only thing that covers me to my satisfaction. 🙂
Thanks so much for your post! You stirred a rousing, “Amen” in me on so many levels.